There are many ways you can streamline your salon operations, maximize your workflow, and tap the resources you already have built into your business. By doing so, you can effectively save time and money and free up your team to create a more enjoyable customer experience.
Here are 10 small changes that you can make in your salon that will make a big difference in how you do business.
Manage Your Color Better
One of the biggest moneymakers in a salon is color services. So, it’s no wonder many salons focus much of their time, effort, and inventory on hair color. However, there is much waste when it comes to color. Stylists/colorists often go for convenience and overmix the amount of needed color and end up dumping too much for it down the drain. Although hair color can be recycled with the right recovery system, it’s best not to waste the money associated with the product.
The fix: Use a color management system to help your team track and correctly dispense more precise amounts of color. Vish is a system that connects an intelligent Bluetooth scale from the salon’s color room to the front desk and captures all services and product charges. Information is communicated to both the Vish Front Desk app for a smooth and seamless checkout and the Vish Dashboard for analysis. Vish also provides in-depth analytics on employee performance, color service profitability, and real-time inventory reporting. The system was designed to measure color accurately and uses data and analytics to set exact prices, decrease inventory purchases, and eliminate waste.
Fill Empty Chairs
Many salons have more chairs than they do stylists or more treatment rooms than facialists. Having too many resources and not enough service providers to use those resources can cost a salon or spa in overhead. That’s when it’s time to put those empty works stations to work.
The fix: List your open stations on a workstation rental application. ShearShare is an app that matches licensed beauty professionals to unused salon space. Salon and barbershop owners make money on their empty chairs while licensed cosmetologists and barbers lease professional suites and booths by the day. That way, you can better use the resources you have and help keep those overhead costs down.
Keep Schedules Filled
For salons with an abundance of service provider talent and an excess of gaps in their schedules, the imbalance can be expensive. Idle stations and employee costs add up quickly.
The fix #1: Create interest in your business and gather data about potential clients by capturing leads on your website and through social media. You can then market to these leads to help fill schedule openings with new clients using minimal effort. You can create your own digital marketing and lead generation campaign, hire a team to do it for you, or find a service like Salon Ninja to help.
The fix #2: Ask for referrals – simple enough. Still the best, albeit the slowest, way to build a business is by word of mouth. That’s why it’s always a good idea to tap the built-in resources in your business: your clients. Put together a program and marketing campaign where you ask happy clients to refer a friend, co-worker, or family member. Reward your client in some way, so they are incentivized to pass out business cards, give a favorable review, make a recommendation on social or pass along a link to your salon’s website so that potential clients can book an appointment or consultation.
The fix #3: In addition to looking for new clients, spend a little time and effort to keep the ones you have. After all, it’s 10x easier to keep a client than to find a new one. Offering a rewards program is one way to help with client retention. If clients have a way to accumulate points and cash them in on other products and services, then you both win.
Also, take the time to communicate and engage with your clients. Consider setting up automated birthday greetings, remind them when they are likely out of product or are due to book their next appointment. Send regular newsletters and updates to keep them informed and to help announce new services, products, or promotions that they may find of interest.
With all of this attention, your clients feel more appreciated and know that you value their business enough to acknowledge and thank them. A little appreciation really does go a long way.
Control Your Inventory
If you love having products to retail to support your services but hate counting bottles every time your distributor rep calls or comes in, or you’re tired of keeping tally at the front desk, it’s time for an efficiency check.
The fix #1: Use inventory management features that are typically built into your salon software. You want features that help you track every bottle sold, returned, and delivered to stock with an easy way to add or update product information into your system. Look for software that permits product reservations for those who book their appointments online and provides suggestive selling at checkout to help increase sales. All of this will help you to keep just the right amount of product in stock without over-buying.
The fix #2: Another option for retail is to add an online store. That way, you can still offer the same professional products to your clients or extend your offerings without adding to your overhead with inventory costs. You simply send your clients a cart filled with your product recommendations, and if they choose to buy, the order is shipped client-direct from your distributor. You don’t even need to touch the product, yet your client stays stocked up on their hair, skin, and body care products.
Reduce Payment Processing Costs
Credit card processing is simply part of your cost of doing business. For almost every sale you make, there will be a charge to process the payment through your merchant account. There’s usually a percentage taken off the top, sometimes a per-transaction cost, and usually a monthly cost for simply having the service available, whether you use it or not. If you‘re not careful, the amounts can add up quickly and take a big bite out of your profits.
The fix: Look for integrated payment processing within your salon software. In the case of Rosy Salon Software, it’s RosyPay. A merchant account owned by the software parent company can control the rates and sidestep many of the typical fees associated with payment processing. And since it’s integrated, it works right into your point of sale and reporting features, and is covered by the same support team as your software, so you know you’ll get excellent service every time. If you are using Rosy but another payment processor, ask Rosy for a comparison to see how much you can save on processing your payments.
Make Scheduling Easier
Spending time making client bookings can add up and even bog down a busy salon. Also, how you take bookings reflects on you as a business owner. Paper schedules simply don’t look professional and should be avoided. There is plenty of technology that can do a better job and will help you and your team be more effective with your time and look more professional to your clients.
The fix: Save your staff valuable time while giving your clients the convenience of scheduling online. Online Client Scheduling makes booking salon or spa appointments a 24/7 opportunity. Your clients jump online whenever they want, look for an open spot on your schedule that fits the services they want, and book it. It’s really that simple. You just set service times and order of service and allow your schedule to show open spots to those with your online booking link.
With this convenience for your clients comes a savings of time for your staff. For every online booking, that’s one less appointment that your team needs to make. Although scheduling a client should not take much time when done through an easy-to-use booking system, the time adds up and frankly can be better spent on other tasks or interactions.
Be More Efficient with Your Confirmations
If you hate late arrivals and no-shows and how they impact your day or having to spend so much time making confirmation calls and individual emails and texts, you need to find a way to automate the process. Otherwise, you’re spending too much on staff time.
The fix: Look for salon software that automatically sends a text message reminder hours before and an email and text confirmation days before every client appointment. You should be able to decide exactly when the communications are sent with a simple one-time setup. With such an efficient system within your salon management software, you can virtually eliminate late arrivals and no-shows and delete the need to make confirmation calls or manually text or email clients.
Now that you have identified areas that need improvement, take a little time to retool some of your processes and make other small changes so that your salon or spa is running more efficiently in the long run.
Looking for the best software to help you with these changes? Give Rosy a try!